Rs 36,915 crore
What is it? The amount that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation will pay to acquire the government’s 51.1% stake in refiner and marketer HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited) in an all-cash deal.
Why is it important? It would create an oil company that is more integrated across the value chain and can compete better with global rivals. This would also help the government exceed its disinvestment target for the current fiscal, when it has seen a fall in its indirect tax revenue and received lower dividends from the Reserve Bank of India. This is likely to help the government achieve its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP (gross domestic product).
What is it? The number of members of legislative assembly of Delhi’s ruling party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), whose disqualification was sought by the Election Commission (EC) on Friday for holding offices of profit.
Why is it important? President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the EC’s recommendation on Sunday and AAP is likely to take the legal route for reprieve. Bypolls for these 20 seats will have to be held within six months. Although the disqualification does not pose an immediate threat to Delhi’s ruling party, which has 66 legislators in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, this may weaken the party’s prospects after a string of losses in recent elections.
Tell me more: After Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP swept the Delhi Assembly polls in 2015, winning 67 of 70 seats, his government passed an order to appoint 20 legislators as parliamentary secretaries to ministers, which was described as them holding offices of profit by a lawyer who sent a petition to the then President Pranab Mukherjee.
What is it? The number of high-risk pregnancies detected from over a crore checkups conducted across India under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) since its launch in 2016, according to Union minister of health and family welfare JP Nadda.
Why is it important? This is among the primary steps to lower maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR). Although both have declined in recent years, India still has some way to go to catch up with developed nations. India’s MMR was 174 per 100,000 live births in 2015; or, 45,000 mothers died to due to causes related to childbirth, which was 17% of such deaths globally. Its IMR was 41 per 1,000 live births in 2015-16, down from 57 in 2005-06.
Tell me more: About one-fourth of checkups under the programme were done in high-priority districts that called for immediate attention. Based on individual needs, 84 lakh haemoglobin tests, 55 lakh HIV tests, 41 lakh tests for gestational diabetes, 33 lakh tests for syphilis and over 15 lakh ultrasound scans were done to detect high-risk pregnancies.
What is it? The amount of new wealth created in the world in 2017 that went to the richest 1%. Further, according to this report from Oxfam, the bottom 50% of world’s population saw no increase in their wealth.
Why is it important? The report is being released in the backdrop of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, from January 23-26. The WEF is the most exalted gathering of leaders from many walks, especially business and politics. This year’s WEF event, which is themed ‘creating a shared future in a fractured world’, will also see the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.
Tell me more: According to the Oxfam report, the wealth held by Indian billionaires increased by Rs 4,89,000 crore in 2017, which is enough to finance 85% of the budgets of all states on health and education.
What is it? Guided by a late onslaught by Jos Buttler, England yesterday beat Australia in the third one-day international (Odi) at Sydney to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five match bilateral series.
Why is it important? England were routed 4-0 in the prestigious test series between the two sides, christened Ashes, just prior to the ODIs. Winning the ODI series might be some solace for the English players. For the Barmy Army, a vocal travelling unit of English fans, it was something more: once a win became imminent match yesterday, they broke into a chant of “we are going to win 5-4”.
Tell me more: Of the 16 ODIs played by Australia since January 2017, they have won only three, while losing 10 (three matches were no results), raising many questions around their readiness of their defence of the ODI World Cup in 2019.